Employers struggle to hire

The labour market has recovered strongly in recent months, with vacancies soaring as employers struggle to fill roles – although the spectre of potential redundancies still looms as furlough ends.

According to official data, the number of job vacancies in the UK is now above pre-pandemic levels. There were 862,000 vacancies in the three months to June, 77,500 more than in the first quarter of 2020. Furthermore, research by Adzuna suggests that the figure has continued to rise, with the number of open roles advertised on job boards exceeding one million across each week of July. 

Commenting on the current situation, Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter said, “The struggle to hire is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses, with hundreds of thousands of workers still on furlough, hesitation among others to go back to work, fewer overseas workers available to fill positions, and a lack of skilled staff in some sectors.”

Furlough scheme changes mean that employers have had to pay 20% of employee salaries since 1 August, which has prompted fears of job losses among the 1.9 million people still on furlough. Research by the British Chambers of Commerce, for instance, found that almost one in five firms planned to make redundancies in response to the policy change.